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Lighted Shelf 


build, hack, tweak, share, discover. 


Lighted Shelf 

Written By: Billy 


Table saw, router, sander, screwdriver, 
side snips, drill & bits. (1) 

2 pieces of 1 x 4 pine, or your choice of 
wood, a 10' length of Christmas LED 1/4 
inch lights (you're choice of color), 1/8 
inch thick plexiglass, wood glue, your 
choice of finish. I prefer Tung N Teak 
danish oil, brackets, I used 98 cents 
brackets I found at a hardware store, 
and screws. (1) 


Since my wife's perfume collection was literally taking up the bathroom, I built a lighted shelf 
in the bedroom to accommodate the many bottles she has. It also gives off a very nice glow 
at night. 

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Lighted Shelf 

Step 1 — Lighted Shelf 

• Take one piece of your 1 x 4 and cut some square pieces (3/4" by 3/4" because the wood 
is not a true 1-inch width) the length your shelf is going to be. My shelf is 10 feet long, so I 
need 2 pieces of 3/4" x 3/4" x 10 feet. Also, you'll need 2 smaller pieces for the ends. I put 
these in last to make a perfect fit. 

Step 2 

• Next, mark your 3/4" x 3/4" pieces on your 1 x 4 and put down glue. Put your 3/4" x 3/4" 
pieces and your end pieces on the glue strips, then clamp down and let dry. 

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Lighted Shelf 

Step 3 

• Next, grab your Christmas lights (whatever color you choose; I liked the blue) and line up 
a drill bit for the size of the hole, then drill a hole in the end piece where you want the cord 
to come out. Next, use a router to cut a 1/8"-deep inner step to hold the plexiglass. 

Step 4 

• Now, sand the wood down nice and smooth, then apply your finish to it. 

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Lighted Shelf 

Step 5 

• Next, measure the width of plexiglass you need to fit into your shelf groove, (because all 
router bits are different). Round the two ends of the plexiglass for each end of your shelf to 
fit in nicely to the routered ends. 

Step 6 

• Next, attach your Christmas lights with the provided securing method. Mine came with 
glue and screw-on tabs with tie wraps. I cleaned up the tie wrap ends once secured. Insert 
your power cord into the previously-drilled hole to the other connector. 

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Lighted Shelf 

Step 7 

• Now, attach your brackets to the wall, minding where the studs are. To locate the first one 
I measured from the ceiling, and after locating the far right one I tied a string to both and 
used a level to gauge where my other brackets would be. In a pinch, you could measure 
from the ceiling down for every bracket. Please feel free to make use of indentured slave 
labor. Of course, do check if it is level and don't be too discouraged if true level is not the 
same as your ceiling line. I also left a 3/8" space between my shelf and the wall. 

Step 8 

• Next, plug it in and see if it works. I added a switch after the plug-in and before the AC to 
DC converter for ease of turning it off and on instead of unplugging it every time. Insert 
your plexiglass strips then put up whatever your heart desires (my wife desires her 
perfume!). I hope this brings some peace to you and your bathroom space. Enjoy! 

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Lighted Shelf 

Step 9 

• Also, if you would like light coming 
from the bottom of your shelf, cut 
your 1 x 4 in half and add an even 
number of shims the width of your 
liking for desired brightness. I 
chose small Xmas lights because 
there was no restriction on 
enclosing them, and for $10.00 it 
was cheaper and easier than 
building a strip of LEDs myself. 
Also, if you want a little extra 
ambiance, instead of 1/8" 
plexiglass you can use 1/4" and 
that will give a nice little glow 
around the top of the shelf. 

It's a very nice lighted shelf, the picture doesn't give it credit for being in a dark room. At the end 
of this project I'll also show you how to get light from the bottom as well. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-01 08:25:49 PM. 

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